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Following the government decision to lockdown the country to deal with spreading coronavirus, an acute shortage of wheat flour has been created in Rawalpindi/Islamabad, while sugar price has further increased from Rs 4,000 per 50kg bag to Rs 4,100 per 50kg bag.
Traders, while talking to Business Recorder here on Wednesday, said that in the past few days, flour millers were either not supplying flour or significantly reduced the supply, saying that the government had stopped wheat supply to the millers.
Traders further said that on Wednesday the flour millers had told them that there was no wheat flour available, and supply would resume following the release of wheat stocks by the government on Thursday (today).
It was observed that the sugar millers had once again increased the refine sugar price in the market from Rs 4,000 per 50kg bag to Rs 4,100 per 50kg bag, which in retail market had reached Rs 87 per kg from Rs 85 per kg.
The other day, flour milers increased the wheat-flour price by Rs 140 per 25kg bag from Rs 1,060 to Rs 1,200 per 20kg bag, ghee/cooking oil, pulses, tea and packed milk prices within past few days had also increased.
The traders said prices of all the pulses had jumped up by Rs 20-30 per kg, ghee/cooking oil price had jumped by Rs 90 per 5kg tin as Dalda and other good quality ghee/cooking oil prices went up from Rs 1,200 per five litre tin to Rs 1,290 per five litre tin.
Moreover, it was also observed that the prices of a number of vegetables also witnessed an increase as onion price went up from Rs 325 per 5kg to Rs 370 per 5kg, which in retail is being sold at Rs 80 per kg against Rs 70 per kg.
Tomatoes price jumped up from Rs 170 per 5kg to Rs 220 per 5kg, which in retail is being sold at Rs 50 per kg against Rs 40-45 per kg, eggs price in wholesales market jumped up from Rs 100 per dozen to Rs 115 per dozen, which in retail are being sold at Rs 125 per kg.
However, chicken prices witnessed a reduction owing to the halt in marriages-related functions as live chicken price has jumped down from Rs 5,500 per 40kg to Rs 4,500 per 40kg, which in retail is being sold at Rs 130 per kg as against Rs 155 per kg, and chicken meat is available at Rs 200 per kg against Rs 250 per kg.
Moreover, it was also witnessed across the twin cities that the retailers and venders of fruit and vegetables have started charging their own prices as the authorities concerned stopped checking them.
However, according the secretary Islamabad Fruit and Vegetable Market, the office of the Market Committee was functioning with full strength, which has issued the official rate list of essential commodities including vegetables and fruits to the retailers/venders.
A representative of Islamabad/Rawalpindi vegetable market said the market was open but the lack of workers, and the fact that several roadside retail vegetable vendors went out of business for a different set of reasons have caused serious disruptions.
He added in Rawalpindi/Islamabad fruit and vegetable market enough stock was available and that the traders were waiting for retailers to lift it but in the absence of transport most of the perishable stuff would go rotten.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020